Board says no

The site of the old Z station where RKM Smith wants to put an off licence.

The Te Awamutu Community Board is opposing a bid for a new off licence in town.

Four of the board’s six members voted against supporting the application by Hamilton company RKM Smith Enterprises Limited when they met for the board’s July meeting.

The proposed site for the off licence is the Alexandra St property which was formerly home to Z petrol station.

Board chair Ange Holt and members Richard Hurrell, Jill Taylor and Kane Titchener opposed the application.

Gary Derbyshire and Lou Brown were not opposed to having another off licence in town, while Susan O’Regan was absent from the meeting.

Brown said his vote was in his capacity as a community board member – he is also the president of the Te Awamutu RSA president, which opposes to the application.

The News approached agents for applicant RKM Smith – Harkness Henry Lawyers – for a response to the community board not supporting its application.

Counsel for RKM Smith, Pervinder Kaur from Harkness Henry, said they were not in a position to comment because the application was in its early stages.

Submissions on RKM Smith Enterprises Limited’s application have now closed.

Board chair Ange Holt said its opposition reflected what she felt was the wider feeling in the community.

Following the vote, she was delegated to complete a board submission and, when required, will probably present it to the Waipā District Council’s District Licensing Committee.

“We already have nine other liquor stores in town,” Holt said. “Perhaps I would be less opposed if it wasn’t at that site in particular. Our objection was based primarily on the unsuitability of the location.”

Holt said the site was close to more than a dozen social organisations and services, including churches, schools and childcare centres.

She conducted a Facebook poll in February, asking the Te Awamutu community how they felt about having more liquor stores in town.

Of the almost 500 responses received, 460 respondents, or more than 90 percent, opposed having more liquor stores.

Just eight percent, or 40 respondents, were not opposed.

“I think that’s a pretty strong indication,” Holt said.

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